SOUTH AFRICA: KMG Hunting Safaris & Kudu Dreams

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Ragman, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    After we dropped the Nyala off at the skinning shed, we took a couple of hours to have a lunch and a bit of a siesta. I had a little nap and woke up to the sound of a dog panting in my ear. It was the famous Flex waiting impatiently for me to get up. Anyone who has spent any time around this little ball of energy knows how he likes to fetch sticks. I threw dozens for him every day. Before long it was time to go hunt Bushbuck.

    We drove to a high spot to have a look down on the river in an area where Llewelyn had been seeing a good ram. Already there was one group of seven females and another group of three that were out grazing. Overlooking the river was a platform complete with walls and a roof where we could glass in two directions. This is where we would spend the afternoon. in the pic below you can just make out the two groups of females on the left bank.
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  2. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    Before long, a young ram came out to investigate the nearest group of ewes. Marius said that he was "too pretty" to be a mature ram. A little while later another young ram came out to our right. This was looking promising. After an hour or so Lloyd radioed to tell us that he could see a mature ram grazing in the flat above the river. We located him and Marius said that he looked to be a shooter. So we bailed off the platform, down the hill, across the river and up the other side. It was then a very careful sneak into the field until Marius spotted him. He indeed was a shooter, so the stalk was on. The ram was feeding away from us, so we had to try to get an angle on him for a shot opportunity. Every time we would set up the sticks and get ready to shoot, the ram would turn straight away again so we would have to repeat the process. This happened three time. Finally at about 150 yards, he stood long enough for us to get set up. At the shot I watched the ram collapse on the spot. Feeling proud of myself we carefully approached the fallen ram. When we were certain that he was down for the count, I was surprised when Marius asked if I meant to shoot him in the neck? What? No, I was on his shoulder I thought. Sure enough, there was the hole right through his neck. Hmmm. Not so proud of myself now. I'll have to work on that. But I did have a clean kill on my second spiral-horn of the day.
     
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  3. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    Will have to continue this in the morning as my computer is doing it's best to make me take a hammer to it. Won't let me post pics at the moment.
     

  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good luck always plays a part.
     
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  5. BenKK

    BenKK AH Elite

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    Congrats on a fine nyala and bushbuck in one day!
     
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  6. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

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    Enjoying your report mate and it's bringing back many fond memories. Great work to bag two of the Spirals on day one!

    blacks
     
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  7. adgunner

    adgunner AH Fanatic

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    Great report Ragman, can't wait to hear more!
     
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  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Bushbuck can be a tough animal to find. You have had a great first day. Congrats
    Bruce
     
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  9. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    This pic shows how Marius gives the shooter his shoulder to rest the elbow on. It makes a huge difference.
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    Standing over my ram.
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    Marius is very particular on how he likes to take photos. Takes his time and makes sure everything is just right.
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    And the results speak for themselves. Professional hunter AND photographer!
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  10. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on a nice bushbuck (y) Definitely on my short list when I head to the East Cape
     
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  11. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    Day 2

    Today is dedicated Kudu Day. The animal that I came to Africa twice for. I am excited and nervous at the same time. Now that I have actually had boots on the ground, I've seen where they live and how the method of hunting is to spot from one hill and then shoot across to the opposite face. When hunting at home my hunting method is to get as close as I can and then try to get a little closer. Reading hunting reports from the Eastern Cape on AH with 300 yard shots on Kudu does have me concerned. However, I know the rifle is definitely capable if I do my part.

    We drove back to the same property that we hunted on the afternoon of my arrival day. We had seen enough promising looking Kudu that afternoon to warrant a return trip. We stopped at the farm and picked up a worker that knew where all the animals were concentrated. I can't remember his name, so I'll call him "Doug". We then proceeded to the same area where we had seen bulls and started glassing. It took no time at all for Marius to start spotting Kudu. Lloyd and Doug were spotting them easily. Even Tina seemed to be getting good at it. But usually all I could see was bush. Every once in a while I'd spot one, but I was definitely out-classed by everyone else. I could hear Marius saying "there's a bull, there's another one over there, three more in that group"...and I could see nothing. It was at that point that I decided that I didn't need to see them then, as long as I could see the right one when the time came to shoot. Before long, Marius spotted one particular bull that peaked his interest. He said that the curls weren't really deep, but he was very wide. A plan was made and the long uphill walk began. Once we reached the top of the hill that was across from the hillside the wide bull was on, I was given a short rest break, as I was doing my best Darth Vader impression. Marius, Lloyd and Doug were not even a little bit winded! When I had regained my ability to absorb sufficient oxygen, Marius and I continued on alone. We crept through the bush downhill to try to gain a spot across from the feeding group of Kudu. I should correct myself. Marius crept through the bush. I more or less pushed my way through, stepping on sticks and getting hung up on thorns and cactus. But I tried my best. After a few looks from Marius and a plea to please be as quiet as possible, I told him that he was "trying to make a Duiker out of a Buffalo"! Somehow we made it to a good spot to watch and glass from without me spooking every Kudu in the valley and we took a seat and got as comfortable as possible to watch for the wide bull.

    Rigby was good company while we waited.
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    As we waited for the wide bull to appear we discussed a wide variety of topics. One was the favourite browse of the Kudu which is called spekboom. I really liked this shrub as it was soft and didn't have thorns all over it! Marius said that in the morning, the leaves were edible for humans and had a sour apple taste to them. I had to try this, but wasn't impressed by the first one. But I kept trying and soon I was munching on them like potato chips! As Marius glassed the Kudu across from us, he was counting bulls. If I remember right, he came up with thirteen plus several cows. Quite a few of those bulls had real potential to be dandy trophies in a year or two. I can't remember how long we sat there watching the Kudu, but it was likely close to an hour when Flex did something completely out of character for him. He scented another animal that was close to us on our side of the valley and took off barking after it. We looked across the valley to see at least two dozen Kudu running over the hill and gone. Marius was livid. I assured him that I was not upset and that dogs made mistakes, but he made it known that it was not OK. The PHs over there expect a lot from their dogs, and I understand why. I guess I'm too much of a softie when it comes to our canine companions. But it was also always very evident the love and pride that Marius had for his two dogs. He was especially proud of Flex. At ten and a half years old, that little Jack Russell is a hunting machine! And young Rigby was progressing. In any case, we were done for the morning and headed back to the lodge for a quick lunch
     
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  12. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Fanatic

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    Turd would never do that! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
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  13. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    After we were fed and rested up, we returned to the same hills where we were glassing in the morning. Marius figured that the Kudu had probably stopped in the next valley and it was decided that that was where we would start glassing for the wide bull. If we couldn't find him there, we would cross over the next hill and glass the adjacent valley. Once we got to a vantage point, much to my relief, I hear Marius say "There his is". He then had a discussion with Lloyd and Doug and a plan was made. Lloyd, Doug and Tina would stay behind to keep and eye on the wide guy while Marius and I again would go off alone to get to the best place for a shot as possible. When we reached the spot that Marius said was a good as we could hope for, he radioed Lloyd to see if the bull was still where we had last seen him. We were assured that he was and the waiting game began. After a while, the wide bull moved into a spot where Marius could now see him. He told me that if the bull kept feeding in the direction that he was going, he would step into an open spot and that's where my shot would be. The distance would be 250 yards pretty much straight across from us, but just a wee bit lower. Oh boy, here come the nerves! In a short while, the bull stepped into the open spot that Marius had said he would. I got on the rifle and Marius asked if I was on the right one? I told him that I was sure I was, but Marius had a look through the scope to double check. "Yes that is the right bull. Take your time and shoot him". I got my shaking knees as still as possible and fired. We heard the thump and the bull wheeled to his right and disappeared into the thick cover. We watched every Kudu that was leaving for the tell-tale wide horns, but he did not appear. Marius asked me how I felt about the shot, and I admitted that I wasn't sure. I had been shaking pretty badly. But we knew he was hit and the fact that he was the only Kudu that we had not seen running away gave me hope. Marius assured me that he would get Lloyd to get the dogs on the trail and we would stay where we were to watch if the bull stepped out. Lloyd, Doug and Tina returned to the bakkie in record time and were soon approaching the area where we had last seen the bull. Flex and Rigby were turned loose and withing seconds were barking. Marius said that they had found him when all of a sudden we see the bull running hard up the hill. I couldn't shoot safely with our companions over there and it happened too fast anyway. They bull again disappeared into cover and in less than a minute we could hear Flex barking again. Marius said that Flex had the Kudu bayed up and that now we must hurry to get there. So down the hill we ran. I no longer had to worry about being a Duiker and went full-on Buffalo mode. When we got to the bottom, we had to cross a fence, and in doing so, the clips of my binocular harness both fastened on to the top wire. There I balanced...trying to unfasten my binoculars from the fence trying to do it in a hurry and not fall on my head. Finally freeing myself, I jumped down. Marius could see that I was getting winded and offered to carry the rifle for me was we now had to climb up the next hill where we could still hear Flex barking at the bull. I said "Yes! And if you see the bull, shoot it!". Marius said that he wanted me to and encouraged me on. Somehow, I made it up to where Lloyd, Doug, and Tina were. I looked a little further up the hill and to my surprise, I see the giant "V" of the bulls horns facing us only 25 yards away! Marius quickly set the sticks and I immediately put one into his facing shoulder. The bull wheeled around and disappeared into a patch of spekboom. After a short while, the bushes stopped shaking and we made our approach. Marius went in ahead, then turned right around with a big smile on his face. He skipped the handshake and went straight into a big bearhug. By now it still hadn't really sunk in what had just happening, but Tina knew. She had lived through my Kudu obsession for years now and was right there to hug me as everything started to click into place and my emotions started come out. I have to admit that I had me a little cry as I put my hands on MY Kudu for the first time. It was a feeling like no other in my nearly 40 year hunting career. And I had Marius to thank for it. He knows his stuff and is persistent like no other hunter I've met. And a huge thanks is owed to Flex who kept that Kudu occupied while I hauled my big butt up that hillside! He completely redeemed himself for his little faux pas this morning!

    My bull where he fell.
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    The "informal photo shoot".
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    Getting the bull down the hill.
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    The photo above shows why he ran. Shot was way far back into the abdomen. Definite concern over my shot concentration is setting in.

    Lloyd and Tina.
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    My dream is now a reality. Not the biggest bull out there, but this one is mine and I couldn't be happier!
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    Day 2 is just ending and I already have my Kudu, Bushbuck and Nyala! What the heck will tomorrow bring? KMG is amazing!!!
     

  14. jasyblood

    jasyblood BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Congratulations on your kudu and beautiful bushbuck!!!
     
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  15. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thats a heck of a first 2 days!!!! Really wide kudu, congrats!
     
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  16. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Looks like your having a great hunt.
     
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  17. adgunner

    adgunner AH Fanatic

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    Ragman, i know how you felt about that Kudu, on my first hunt to Africa, that's what it was all about to me as well. If i ever stop getting the shakes or that flood of emotions, i'm going to hang it up. Congrats!
     
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  18. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    Thank you Rod!
     

  19. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Pretty Kudu. They are one of the animals that I love. Lots of cover in the East Cape. Marius keeps those dogs for a good reason. Congrtas

    Bruce
     
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  20. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    After spending a lot of time in the bakkie with that dog, I think I know how he came by the nickname Turd!!! Gassy little guy! Gotta love him though.
     
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